“The Department of Education and Skills should issue clear guidelines to schools regarding realistic and appropriate measures to be taken to contain children during episodes of violent behaviour. These guidelines should be based on evidence of international best practice in working with children with severe emotional and behavioural difficulties and should specifically address when it is appropriate for teachers and SNAs to use restraint and a time-out room.”

Teresa Griffin*

CEO, National Council for Special Education :: An Chomhairle Náisiúnta um Oideachas Speisialta (2012)

Restraint Training for Schools in Ireland

Irish Legislation, Best-Practice Guidance and appropriate skills for Positive Handling

Dynamis delivers training for your team (both online and in-person) which covers the specific topics required to carry out Positive Handling in Ireland:

  • Best-Practice Guidance on the Restraint of Chidren, endorsed by 3 government departments/agencies
  • Duty of care under Irish Health and Safety law in regard to incidents of safety at work
  • The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005
  • Legal rights and powers under Irish law to use force with a child to stop them harming themselves or others
  • The Non-Fatal Offences against the Person Act 1997
  • The risks inherent in physical interventions and how to avoid them or minimise them
  • How to write a professional incident report articulating correct decision-making

Once your team understands their legislative position and the best-practice guidance relevant for restraint training for schools in Ireland, we will explore appropriate and effective methods for school staff to use in managing challenging behaviour which carried the risk of serious harm:

  • Verbalisation strategies (in brief) for gaining compliance and de-escalation
  • How to safely approach, prompt and escort a child from place to place
  • How to gain control of a child who is at risk of harming themselves or others (lashing out)
  • How to hold and immobilise a child during the de-escalation process
  • Protection from Biting, Kicking and Spitting during the holding period
  • Standing, Seated and Kneeling variations for the control of different scenarios
  • Self-Protection and Disengagement method for high-risk scenarios

To see feedback about our online restraint training for schools in Ireland, which has been specifically developed to form a core element of a blended-learning programme, please visit this page:   http://www.positivehandling.co.uk/positive-handling-online-training/

Online/Blended or Full In-Person Training Options: 

Flexible Restraint Training for Schools in Ireland

One Full Day:   For schools who can set aside the time, this option gives your staff the most practice time and question/answer time with the trainers about the decision-making framework for physical interventions.  Assimilation of the legal ‘rules’ and long-term retention of the physical skills is best with this duration of contact time.  Be aware though that In-Service days are often booked LONG in advance!  It is prudent to consider the Twilight options below also.

*For Schools who look after children with complex needs, additional days of training may be required, for example more in-depth Conflict Communication and Crisis Training, Breakaway Training or more comprehensive Restraint Interventions training.

Half Day or Twilight sessions:  We are finding that many schools want the training as soon as possible, without needing to book a full In-Service day.   This convenient Half-day or Twilight option blends online learning with an in-person training session and can be booked on any convenient date.

Your team are engaged by pre-course study of 4 Units of our highly-developed Decision-Making Framework using our online learning system.  Our trainer then visits with you to complete the training with Q&A and physical skills development, taking about 3 hours in the AM, PM or Twilight, at a time which is convenient and expedient for you.

Additional Staff:  Schools can add as many learners as necessary to either of the above programmes, extending to whole-school if needed, by prior arrangement.

60 min or 90 min Briefing:  This is a briefing on the rules and principles only, with no physical skills development for the staff.  It can be useful to establish a baseline school-wide.  We sometimes run these as a whole-school briefing first-thing in the morning prior to taking a specialised team for in-depth training throughout the rest of the day.  Your investment is the same as a half-day visit, or a full day if we continue with your Behaviour Team.

Blending all of the above options:   Depending on where the risks have been identified, schools will blend all of the above to get the right level of training across all of their staff team.

Thinking about Whole-School Training?   It may be helpful to read our expert opinion on establishing a Behaviour Team who would exclusively get this training at your school, in the following post:  


I hope the above helps you to think about the most appropriate format for the training – let me know how we can get this programme in place for you and your team!

Completion of your Positive Handling Training Course

On completion of the full online course and the in-person physical skills training, we will certificate each member of staff that they will have achieved:

  1. UNIT:  Understanding The Law and Risks involved in Physical Intervention
  2. UNIT:  The Practice of Physical Intervention Skills

After the Positive Handling course we will give your team access to our resources page which has templates for:

  • a positive handling policy example
  • a positive handling incident report example
  • highly popular reference videos for verbal de-escalation models

Our trainers are all full-time qualified adult-education professionals – they have BTEC Level 4 qualifications in Lifelong Learning.   They all hold the BTEC Level 3 Award in Physical Restraint Instruction also, which is vocationally accredited by Ofqual.  The courses we teach are based on BTEC Level 2 qualifications which have been specifically written by experts on the use of Positive Handling in Schools.

Course FEEDBACK for Jan-December 2016

Were your expectations about the course met?

Exceeded 52.28%

Fulfilled 47.45%

Did the trainer observe good Health and Safety practices?

Yes (Y) 98.93%

Were exercises on your training course conducted safely?

Yes (Y) 368 98.66%

How did you rate the Dynamis instructor’s knowledge and competence?

Excellent 75.87%

Very Good 21.98%

Good 2.68%

Were all your questions answered comprehensively by your trainer?

Yes (Y) 98.39%

Was the training delivered using a mix of delivery styles which enabled you to learn effectively?

Yes (Y) 99.46%

Was the course of the right duration for you to gain the skills and knowledge you needed?

Slightly too long 10.99%

Just the right duration 72.12%

Slightly too short 13.40%

Were the techniques and tactics you learned appropriate to the real scenarios you will – or might forseeably – face in your work?

Yes (Y) 95.98%

Were the theory and knowledge components of the course helpful for you professionally?

Yes (Y) 98.93%


An introduction to our Positive Handling training for schools in Ireland.

“There are some occasions when the use of a physical restraint is the most appropriate and/or only means of managing a risk of serious harm….where it has been assessed that the safest and least harmful way to manage the presenting behaviour is to intervene to restrain a child physically”

Authors of

Best Practice Guidelines in the Use of Physical Restraint, 2006

 * In communication with the NCSE, the Council has asked that we clarify:  NCSE does not endorse any single provider, methodology or system of training and has no opinion in relation to the provision of this training.

  • The training course from Dynamis fulfilled or exceeded expectations 99.6% 99.6%
  • Our instructor from Dynamis had a very good or excellent level of knowledge and competence 98.2% 98.2%
  • The theory and knowledge components helped me professionally 98.9% 98.9%
  • The techniques and tactics were appropriate to real scenarios in our work 98.6% 98.6%
  • Our Dynamis trainer observed good Health and Safety practices - the training was safe 100% 100%
  • The Dynamis training course was of the right duration to gain the skills and knowledge I needed 91.2% 91.2%

Call 0844 812 9795 or Get Started here:

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Schools in Ireland who have benefitted from our training:

  • St Patricks National School, Cork City
  • St Pauls Special School, Cork City
  • Kilcoole Primary School, Co. Wicklow
  • St Patricks National School, Stamullen, Co. Meath
  • Loreto Primary School, Dalkey, Co. Dublin
  • Duleek Boy’s National School, Co. Meath